Ah, Toei. I think it is about time you admit something that is becoming painfully clear: You love the heck out of Sailor Jupiter. Toei, baby, it’s okay to tell us the truth. In fact, many of us love the Thunder Senshi just as much as you do, but at this point, your favoritism is becomingly incredibly, almost laughably obvious.
Episode 17 starts off innocently enough. Mercury has been taken by the Black Moon Clan (
BIG SURPRISE…. NOT). We get the usual fun and charming interactions between the girls that we have come to know from the original series, one of the few redeeming features of the past couple of episodes. Chibi-Usa’s sass is intact here, something I was happy to see was not erased in this new incarnation of the character. Also, the small hints at Usagi and Chibi’s similarities were just precious, specifically when they both look at each other after receiving the Sailor V dolls.
We then arrive to the fangirling of a certain green-themed lady. Yes, it is hard to not notice that whenever an episode featuring Makoto comes up, it is given the best animation and effort into the script, by far. We are given a treasure trove of interesting things to examine here: Makoto’s backstory, seeing where she got her good looks from, her relationship with young student Asanuma gets some development, and we get to see how she deals with the common cold. And, oh yeah, we get the most beautiful close ups of probably the entire series.
Now, if only Toei were that invested in the entire cast, maybe we would have a flawless series on our hands. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and until Toei figures out how to kill off the rest of the senshi so they can make their own spin-off Jupiter show, we’ll have to make due with what we have here.
Once the Jupiter love has ended, we return to the usual pattern the last two episodes have been following – villain attacks, senshi gets new attack, and then senshi gets taken. Though in the original series this sort of Monster of the Week pattern was acceptable, in Crystal it feels utterly boring. We’ve come to expect this show to follow the manga, but this might be a case where that strategy doesn’t aid the show as much as it drags it down.
It also is pretty obvious that the animation team was tight on their budget this episode, as the last two minutes were some of the most rushed storytelling I’ve ever witnessed. Characters pop out of no where, others are moved to places at quick speeds, and suddenly it ends. Maybe Toei, you could have given just as much time to these action sequences as you did to Makoto’s beauty shots? Just sayin’.
Overall, this was one of the better episodes of Crystal, but mostly because it seemed like Toei was finally caring about the show. There even was some Serenity Neo Tokyo shots, so I can’t really complain when that’s included. All I hope is that Toei realizes that effort should be given to the entire product, not just when they get the opportunity to fangirl over a certain character.
Sailor Moon Crystal airs every other Saturday on Hulu, Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Nico-Nico.